Day 21 CCR: It’s an Adventure
Tonight’s abbreviated blog post is brought to you by Morerain and Newt Ire.
As expected, we left Dryden (poorly named under the circumstances since it certainly was not dry) in light to moderate rain, which persisted for three soggy hours as we splashed toward Winnipeg, going through Kenora where Marilyn and I overnighted on my first motorcycle foray into Canada 12 years ago. My new rain suit worked well, except for the part where I neglected to zip the zipper all the way closed and water ran off my helmet and down the front of my shirt. Fortunately, it was an absorbent shirt and water never reached my riding pants, which were kept dry by the rain pants. Oh well.
The last hour of our dash to the Winnipeg Harley-Davidson dealer was dry, but menacing gray clouds teased us from time to time, letting a little blue sky through then shutting it off again. Still, we got to the dealership well before my 1 p.m. appointment for a routine oil change and check-up. Well, “routine” until the service writer approached me to say the tech changing the oil reported that my rear tire had only 1-2/32 of tread left. I hadn’t been checking the tires because the bike only had
5,000 6,000 7,000 8,250 miles on the odometer and I expected to go at least 10,000 miles before replacing the tire. Surprised, I went to the service area and examined it myself. Sure, enough, no more than 2/32 remained in the center of the tread, which, by the way, is particularly important when one rides in the rain and wants to maintain a secure grip on the pavement. So, I said sure, put on a new tire. The service writer replied, “We don’t have one, but we think a local tire distributer may have one. We’ll check.” Half an hour later, they had a new and better tire (read: expensive) and the tech started switching the old for the new. Giving him an hour or so, I waited patiently for word that my bike was ready. When nobody came to tell me the good news, I strolled back to the service area, looked through window and noticed the service manager using a drill on my bike. “That’s odd,” I thought because drills aren’t usually standard equipment when changing a tire. The tech, the manager and the service writer noticed me noticing them using a drill on my bike, and the service writer shuffled over to tell me that they had broken a bolt during the tire change process and were removing the broken piece and would have a new bolt installed in no time. Five hours after I rode up to the service department for a one hour appointment, I rode away with fresh oil, an expensive tire, and a new bolt they gave me for free. And they washed the bike. It’s shiny. But it’s going to rain again Saturday.
I had company in my misery. Steve also went in for an oil change and asked them to look at the left front fork, which was leaking oil. They said they could do the oil change and put in a new seal kit for both front forks. And he needed new brake pads, front and rear. Oh, and the drive belt had cracks in the teeth and should be replaced to avoid getting stranded in the middle of Canada with a bike that wouldn’t go anywhere if the belt disintegrated. Except they didn’t have a belt. But there was one at a Harley dealer in Red Deer, about 800 miles away. It so happens that Red Deer is one of my planned stops on the CCR, so they made an appointment for Steve for next Wednesday to get a new belt in Alberta. They couldn’t complete the oil change, brake pads and fork seals before closing time today, so his bike is still there, somewhat disassembled. He ubered to the hotel and will uber back to the dealership tomorrow morning to pick up his bike while I’m visiting a museum.
I’ve said before, my long motorcycle trips are not vacations; they’re adventures. But some adventures are better than others. A day off tomorrow to visit museums for me, then back on the road again. With a new rain suit, new oil and a new tire.